Show and tell: from the classroom.

As of today, the shop is closed for a Thanksgiving break. Those of us who work and teach at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop are taking time to be with family and friends, to relax and take note of what we’re grateful for. One thing we are particularly thankful for is the community of makers that has grown in and around the shop, especially through our teachers and their good work in the classroom. With that in mind, here’s some show and tell – knitting projects completed during classes here at our shop.

Here’s Trich modeling her “Ilia” cardigan, a labor of love she completed during a class with Marsha. This intricately cabled garment was designed by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed and knit with their Loft yarn, and Trich did a skillful job knitting it.  

Leslie was among the first in Amy’s class to complete her “Sammal,” a cardigan that looked simpler than it turned out to be for many knitters. She pushed through the short row shaping and textured stitch pattern that was tricky to read on the needles and wound up with a perfectly-fitting garment. Tukuwool Fingering was the suggested yarn and Leslie liked it so much, she came back for more when this sweater was done!

Gwen tried her hand at a few different colorwork techniques during Robin’s class on the “Yipes Stripes Cowl.” I love the colors of Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted she chose for this project, a mix of brights and pastels that really make the various patterns pop.

Linda knit this “Galloway” cardigan during Amy’s class on the subject, taking one of Jared Flood’s suggested colorways and tweaking it by substituting a bright teal for a medium blue. She knit it with the recommended yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and the result is something special, a sweater that fits just how she wanted in colors she loves. Great job on your knitting and steeking, Linda!

Many thanks to our teachers and to all the knitters who challenge themselves to learn something new in classes here at our shop. We love seeing what you make and watching as you grow your skills! Check out our Classes page for information about upcoming courses – you can sign up online if you’d like to attend.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, we’ll look forward to opening the shop again on Tuesday, November 27th.

Laine Magazine, No. 6.

Last week, we welcomed another beautiful new issue of Laine Magazine.

Laine Magazine is a publication out of Finland, a knitting and lifestyle magazine with a love of natural fibers and handicraft as its focus. It’s only a couple of years old, but it already has quite a following, and a reputation for beautiful designs and tantalizing photography.

Inside this issue of Laine, you’ll find a mix of knitting patterns, articles, recipes, profiles on fiber artists, and a travel guide to Reykjavik.

There are lots of familiar names sprinkled throughout this issue, like Andrea Mowry, Tukuwool, Shannon Cook, Brooklyn Tweed, Nancy Marchant, and Fibre Company, but we love getting to know new designers and yarn companies through Laine, too.

Come by the shop to page through Laine and our other books and magazines. We hope you find inspiration here!

Back in stock: Tukuwool Fingering.

We recently restocked a relatively new-to-us yarn, Tukuwool Fingering, which has quickly become a favorite. Anne and I were so excited when this enormous box arrived from Canada, especially because it held three brand new colors!

Tukuwool Fingering is a woolen-spun, fingering weight blend of Finnsheep and Finnsheep-Texel wool, sourced and produced entirely in Finland. It’s a little toothy, but soft enough for next-to-skin wear, depending upon one’s preferences; a springy and resilient yarn.

I knit two “Bousta Beanies” with this yarn and fell in love with it along the way. Its texture and color palette make it particularly well-suited to colorwork, I think, a quality that shines in local designer Kerry Bullock-Ozkan’s “Rionnag Cowl.”

Perhaps you saw this cowl on display during our recent HYS Colorwork Trunk Show – it’s home with Kerry again, but still on my mind. We have print copies of the pattern here at the shop, but it’s also available on Ravelry.

Unpacking that big box of Tukuwool, I contemplated quartets of color with this cowl in mind; here are a few I came up with.

Since I first wrote about Tukuwool Fingering back in September, a number of new designs have been published for this special yarn:

Look for Tukuwool Fingering here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – come by to see and touch it for yourself, and plan your next project!

HYS Colorwork Trunk Show.

One of our special attractions for this year’s Triangle Yarn Crawl is a collection of garments made by knitters in our community – folks who work, teach, and shop here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. The theme is colorwork, interpreted somewhat broadly to include not only fair isle, but also intarsia, double knitting, brioche, log cabin and short-row-shaped patterns made with self-striping yarns.

It’s an inspiring group – come by the shop during the Triangle Yarn Crawl to see the following garments:

  • Log cabin blanket, based on Sarah Bradberry’s “Log Cabin Square,” knit with Noro Kureyon and Plymouth Galway. Made by Rosi, who works at our shop most Sundays.
  • “Rionnag Cowl,” by Kerry Bullock-Ozkan, a local designer who knit this piece with Tukuwool Fingering.

We’ve also pulled together some of our tried and true colorwork samples from around the shop – Anne’s “Candy Darling” in Fibre Company Arranmore Light, Amy’s “First Footing” in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift and “Mix No. 23” in Shibui Cima, my “Cliff Hat” in Shibui Pebble, “Autumn Tam” in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, and “2 Color Cotton Cowl” in Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply.

It’s so exciting to see this riot of color covering our walls – many thanks to the talented knitters who lent their garments to this show!

More Bousta Beanies.

Back in September, I wrote about Gudrun Johnston’s “Bousta Beanie,” a three-color fair-isle hat that I find absolutely irresistible. Since then, Anne has knit one, I’ve knit two, and so many of you have started on “Bousta Beanies” of your own!

Anne knit this “Bousta Beanie” for her daughter, adding a little extra length and a folded brim to keep her ears warm during New York winters. The main yarn is Tukuwool Fingering, and the inside hem is made with the extra-soft Isager Alpaca 2.

If you want to add a folded brim to your own hat, check out this Kelbourne Woolens tutorial on the subject – it helps to see it at several steps throughout the process.

Joanne knit the “Bousta Beanie” above with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, which offers an unparalleled selection of colors – we have 126 in stock at my last count!

Here’s my first “Bousta Beanie,” knit with Tukuwool Fingering. I selected two light shades and one dark, putting one of the lights in the background for a low-contrast effect. I had enough yarn left to knit a second and probably even a third, rearranging the color placement to make good use of the yardage. For my second, I placed the darkest color in the background, which caused the two lighter shades to pop out in the foreground.

I love how both hats turned out, though they’re very different; it was fun just to see what happened as the colors came together, row by row.

Anyone else out there knitting “Bousta Beanies”? We’d love to see them and hear about what yarns and color combinations worked best for you!

Restocking.

December is a busy month here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Knitters and crocheters rush in seeking bulky yarns for last-minute hats, others pop by to pick up gift certificates, hoping to delight the yarn-lovers in their life, and still more wander in, entranced by the ballwinder in the window, curious what our shop is all about.

Our educational calendar calms down to make room for the busy personal schedules of our teachers and students, though we’ll pick up the pace in January with a surge of new classes.

We unpack the occasional new book, magazine, or notion, but a lot of what we order and receive during this busy time is familiar territory – just your average restock, filling up on yarns that have sold out and need replenishing.

We’ve filled up on Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering and Tukuwool Fingering, brought back sold out colors in Berroco Ultra Wool and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, and unpacked boxes of Malabrigo yarns at least once a week.

Come by the shop to browse the newest yarns as well as our old favorites, and plan a project for the new year ahead!

Making 2018 Wall Calendar.

The Making 2018 wall calendar is here, and so lovely!

Each month has a beautiful drawing of a particular breed of sheep alongside a plant used for natural dyeing.

Many of these sheep breeds are unfamiliar to us – how we wish we could represent them all in yarns on our shelves! We did see a few friends, though, like the Finnsheep whose fleece make Tukuwool Fingering, and the Rambouillet whose fleece make Brooklyn Tweed Vale.

This would be a welcome gift for any knitter, spinner, dyer, or sheep-lover this holiday season. Come by the shop to pick one up!

Bousta Beanies.

Lately I am enamored of Gudrun Johnston’s “Bousta Beanie,” the official hat pattern of Shetland Wool Week 2017. I downloaded it from Ravelry as soon as it was published back in March, but it zoomed to the top of my queue when a knitter brought one in for show and tell.

This is Kerry’s first “Bousta Beanie,” knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. Her bold color choice perfectly complements the graphic motif of the pattern, an eye-catching combination. While I snapped pictures, muttering about how badly I wanted to knit one of my own, Kerry selected a second colorway in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. Now that I’ve cast on for a “Bousta Beanie,” I can understand how this might happen. It’s downright exhilarating to watch the colors come together, to see how one affects another depending upon the placement, and it gives you ideas for the next hat.

I’m knitting mine in the brand new Tukuwool Fingering, a Finnish wool that is as well-suited to stranded colorwork as Shetland wool. I have little to no interest in wearing hats, but I still like to make them now and again, usually to audition a yarn that intrigues me. I chose colors I’m somewhat inexplicably drawn to, though they’re nowhere to be seen in my wardrobe. Simply put: knitting this “Bousta Beanie” has been somewhat impulsive, and deliciously fun.

Anne is starting a “Bousta Beanie” in Tukuwool Fingering, too, a playful combination of mustard yellow, red, and natural gray. Here are a few more “Bousta Beanie” color ideas, since I can hardly keep my hands out of the Tukuwool basket.

Consider these a jumping-off point as you dream up your own colorway, which I can’t wait to see!

Don’t stop at Tukuwool, however – we have many lovely fingering weight yarns that are well-suited to this pattern. Consider Baa Ram Ewe Titus, Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering, and Isager Alpaca 2 along with Loft and Shetland Spindrift. See you at the shop!

Hello, Tukuwool Fingering.

We are especially excited to announce our newest yarn: meet Tukuwool Fingering!

Anne and I have been particularly excited about this one. So far this fall, we’ve brought in new yarns from companies we already work with, companies who have become like old friends over the years. Tukuwool is not only a new yarn but a new brand for us, and we’re delighted to have found them!

Tukuwool is based in Finland, just like Laine Magazine, where we first read about them, and their yarns are sourced and produced entirely in Finland.

Tukuwool Fingering is, as its name suggests, a fingering weight blend of Finnsheep and Finnsheep-Texel wool. I looked up these sheep breeds in my precious copy of Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Book of Wool, and learned that Finnsheep are found in the mediumwool category, where each fiber is a notch thicker than familiar finewools like Merino, Targhee, and Cormo. Still, Finnsheep fiber is soft enough for next-to-skin wear, depending upon one’s preferences, and makes a springy and resilient yarn.

Tukuwool Fingering is woolen-spun, like Brooklyn Tweed Loft, a process which makes both yarns lofty and especially warm for their weight. Tukuwool Fingering is a great substitute for Loft, which opens up a world of patterns for this relatively young yarn. First things first, however – check out the smattering of patterns that have been written expressly for the special yarn at hand, Tukuwool Fingering:

Look for more pattern ideas on our “Fingering weight” Pinterest board. I’ve got something in mind for this yarn, which I’m anxious to get on my needles – but more on that later. Look for Tukuwool Fingering here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, where we hope you find inspiration for your next project! See you there.